Wyoming left Colorado Springs with a win last Saturday. It wasn’t all celebration after, however, because Josh Allen didn’t play in the second half and his status remains in doubt this weekend. The Pokes (7-3,5-1) have won 3 straight and 6 of their last 7. They will host Fresno State (7-3) this weekend in their home finale.

Last week the Cowboys were underdogs and their victory meant that they covered the point spread. Wyoming is a 1.5-point underdog this week vs Fresno State. This marks the 6th straight week that the Cowboys are underdogs. There overall record is 4-1 in the last 5 games as underdogs and they are 5-0 ATS. They have also covered the spread 6 straight games, 7 depending on where you look for the Hawaii win.

The Standings:

 

Straight UpAgainst the Spread

Robert Gagliardi

10-07-2

Brandon Foster

9-16-3

Brad Reed

9-1

6-3

Chad Smith9-1

6-3

Connor Cunningham9-1

6-3

Wyoming Cowboys7-3

6-3

 

Robert Gagliardi, Wyosports.net

What are your thoughts on last week’s game at Air Force?

Another gutsy effort by the Cowboys. Defense was great with three turnovers forced. This group continues to play lights out. Thought the team handled losing QB Josh Allen well, and hats off to junior backup Nick Smith for leading the team down for the fourth-quarter touchdown.

Who was your MVP last week? Youhanna Ghaifan and Javaree Jackson

Tough to single out any one guy on defense, so I will go with two. Interior defensive linemen Youhanna Ghaifan and Javaree Jackson combined for 21 tackles. Ghaifan, still playing with turf toe on his right foot, had two tackles for loss.

This week’s Poke Pick: Wyoming QB

Whoever plays quarterback. If Josh Allen plays, and Wyoming is hopeful at this point, how does he play and what does UW do with him in terms of the run game and him taking hits to that sore right shoulder. If it is Nick Smith, what does offensive coordinator Brent Vigen do to come up a plan where Smith can be successful?

What does Wyoming need to do to win?

Continued good play by the defense, especially in making Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion uncomfortable — something most teams have not been able to do. Offensively, make enough plays to score points and protect the football.

Game Prediction?

This should be a low scoring game since both teams allow about 18 points per game. Some how, some way, Wyoming grinds out another home win. Wyoming 21, Fresno State 20

 

Brandon Foster, Casper Star-Tribune

What are your thoughts on last week’s game at Air Force?

Honestly, I thought that was going to be a really encouraging game for Wyoming until Allen got hurt. I suppose the fact that the defense and Nick Smith & Co. did enough to hang on is encouraging, too, but it’s hard to take away anything more than concern when Josh Allen is injured.

Who was your MVP last week? RB Trey Woods

I thought Woods had his best game as a starter, and even if Air Force’s run defense is shabby, that’s still something Wyoming really needed. His 38-yard catch was huge.

This week’s Poke Pick: QB Nick Smith

We still don’t know if he’s going to have to play but if he does, I’ll be curious to see how he looks with a week’s worth of first-string snaps under his belt.

What does Wyoming need to do to win?

Heal Allen’s shoulder? No, seriously, I’m going to say force three turnovers. Even if Allen is in there, who knows what his capacity will be. The defense is likely going to have to carry this one, and creating a short field would be a huge way to do so. 

Game Prediction?

I have no idea why I’m doing this. Josh Allen is responsible for so much of Wyoming’s offensive ability and for some reason I get the feeling he won’t play. Nonetheless, Wyoming 10, Fresno State 7

 

Brad Reed, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last week’s game at Air Force?

Good win for the Cowboys. The Pokes gutted this one out despite losing Josh Allen early in the third quarter. Games at Air Force are always difficult, between the physicality of their football team, plus the questionable blocking practice exercised at the Academy. The Cowboy defense showed its talent again this week forcing the Falcons into a few turnovers and holding their potent rushing attack mostly in check.  

Who was your MVP last week? DT Youhanna Ghaifan

Ghaifan made his presence known this week. The big fella up front recorded 11 tackles, one sack, and two tackles for loss. A difference maker this past weekend.

This week’s Poke Pick: RB Kellen Overstreet

With Josh Allen’s status listed as questionable at the time of this writing, and Nick Smith possibly at the controls the Cowboys will need to get the ground game moving to help either quarterback out. Allen’s shoulder may not be 100% come game time, and Smith’s inexperience is going to need to be balanced out somehow.

What does Wyoming need to do to win?

Wyoming’s defense needs to create some points here. If Allen can’t go the defense will be needed very badly. On the other hand, Fresno State’s defense is quite good as well, so the Cowboys will need to protect the football and make sure they score whenever they get the opportunity. Points might be few and far between for both teams here.

Game Prediction?

Game’s at home, going to be a defensive struggle. I can see the Cowboys winning this one. Wyoming 20, Fresno State 17

 

Chad Smith, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last week’s game at Air Force?

Games against the Falcons are usually entertaining and this one was as well. The Pokes faced some adversity with the injury to Josh Allen but the defense and well-timed drive from Nick Smith helped spur on a victory.    

Who was your MVP last week? LB Logan Wilson

With 12 tackles and a forced fumble, the Wyoming native helped shut down the Air Force triple option attack.

This week’s Poke Pick: S Andrew Wingard

I think Saturday will be a big day for the junior safety, Wingard.

What does Wyoming need to do to win?

This game matches the number one (Wyoming) and number two (Fresno State) scoring defenses in the Mountain West. Wyoming absolutely has to win the turnover battle to win in the final home regular season game of the season.

Game Prediction?

We don’t know the true condition of QB Josh Allen. This fact makes this game very hard to predict but I think Allen will give it a go. If he isn’t effective Nick Smith will step in but either way, I see Wyoming finding a way to win this game even though Fresno is undefeated on the road in conference play. Wyoming 20, Fresno State 17

 

Connor Cunningham, Wyonation.com

What are your thoughts on last week’s game at Air Force?

Everything was great in the first half and it looked like the Cowboys were going to roll like they did against New Mexico. Everything was going their way until AFA scored late in the first half, then Josh Allen played 2 plays in the second half. I got a bit nervous, but like much of this season, the defense saved the day and Nick Smith got more comfortable as the game went on and led a much needed scoring drive. It was a great win for the Cowboys on the road. They seem to find a new way to get it done every week.

Who was your MVP last week? Wyoming Defense

I don’t like picking groups as the MVP, but when the Cowboys needed the defense to step up more than ever, they did. They were on the field a lot in the AFA game and gave up some yards but they buckled down and got the job done. This defense has been so fun to watch this season and they have play makers all over the field.

This week’s Poke Pick: Running game

I personally think we will see Josh Allen on Saturday, but I think Nick Smith will play as well. Because of Allen’s injury, the running game needs to be productive. Trey Woods and Kellen Overstreet will need to lead the way, and I think we see Smith in short yardage situations where he will get a chance to run the ball where Allen might normally get the call. If Allen plays, he has to stay away from contact as much as possible.

What does Wyoming need to do to win?

They are going to need to win the turnover. The defense has been doing it all year and they are going to need to do it again. Combine that with a solid running performance and I think the Cowboys can get it done, regardless who is at quarterback.

Game Prediction?

I think the Cowboys find a way to get this one. This team has learned how to win and it seems like they find a new formula to win every game. This Saturday will be no different. Wyoming 27, Fresno State 17

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